6 technologists discuss how no-code tools are changing software development – ​​TechCrunch


The no-code/low-code space has grown rapidly in recent years. As we learned from our latest survey of investors active in the space earlier this month, technology is democratizing access to modern software development, but there are still some issues to be resolved. However, mass adoption is still delayed: many organizations prefer to build from scratch, and complete end-to-end solutions are still elusive.

To get a deeper insight into the technical aspects of the space, we decided to talk to some of the technologists ushering in the no-code/low-code revolution.

For starters, it seems that no-code/low-code tools haven’t had much of an impact on the number of people working in IT. Deb Gildersleeve, CIO of Quickbase, said the spread of no-code/low-code will help IT focus on more demanding tasks.

“We believe IT needs to spend more time thinking about the impact of technology on people. Tools that eliminate menial and time-consuming tasks save time and energy to focus on larger issues that make people’s lives easier,” she said.

No-code/low-code entails technical debt to some degree, an aspect that has become a major talking point. David Hsu, Founder and CEO of Retool, believes it’s less about eliminating technical debt right now and more about choosing where debt would be an acceptable consequence.

“What can be done is to decide what technical debt is worth the flexibility that low-code provides, and what technical debt does not meet that threshold. For example, give non-technical builders the ability to design and defining their own interfaces seems very helpful from where we are,” he said. “On the other hand, we find that letting non-technical developers manage integrations, data flow, business logic, and CRON jobs – without some level of technical oversight or guardrails – aren’t worth the technical debt.”

For this survey, we talked to executives about their favorite no-code/low-code tools, the different impacts these development suites have had on the IT job market, and how to ensure minimal technical debt, between others.

We spoke to:

  • Patrick Jean, Technical Director, OutSystems
  • Deb Gildersleeve, DSI, Quickbase
  • Zoe Clelland, Vice President of Product and Experience, Nintex
  • Bruno Vieira Costa, Founder and CEO, Abstra
  • David Hsu, Founder and CEO, Retool
  • Trisha Kothari, Co-Founder and CEO, Unit21

Patrick Jean, Technical Director, OutSystems

How much of the work you manage is currently done via no-code/low-code? In 2031, will developers still have to learn to code?

As the CTO of a low-code platform that pioneered this category 20 years ago, everything I do is about low-code and how the tool can help business leaders and developers to build the serious apps they need. In fact, we build our own stack as much as possible using our low-code platform – for our UI tools we have a few core high-code components, and a lot of the platform. OutSystems remaining form of user interface is built in low-code. coded.

In the future, there will always be a need for developers with high-code expertise. Instead of thinking that these tools eliminate the need to learn to code, they should be viewed as a way to eliminate the burden of long-term, undifferentiated maintenance work present in application development. Low-code application development platforms will handle this undifferentiated work and developers won’t have to worry about it.

What are your favorite no-code/low-code tools?

There is an abundance of no-code/low-code tools available that meet a range of developer needs. Many tools in this category solve a narrow set of problems and often run into hurdles when they need to scale or evolve over time.

In my experience, what businesses need is a platform that combines agility, performance, and scalability, resulting in secure, high-quality applications. One that encompasses both high expressiveness and high developer productivity and provides comprehensive elite CI/CD capabilities.

As long as you have software, there will always be a need for people who can build software from scratch. Deb Gildersleeve, DSI, Quickbase

Companies should look for enterprise-grade, low-code tools that allow them to build mission-critical applications that solve serious business challenges while optimizing security, compliance, and scalability, and removing issues such as legacy code and integrations.

Is the rise of no-code/low-code having an impact on the number of people working in IT?

No-code/low-code tools have no impact on the number of people working in IT. Instead, they optimize the role of IT, helping modernize legacy systems, eliminate technical debt, and enable them to build applications at a rapid pace.

It helps IT pros empower their own teams to build the apps they need rather than relying on out-of-the-box options, and allows teams and developers to focus on more meaningful creative work rather than maintaining outdated back-end systems or performing menial tasks. .

One of the differentiators of no-code/low-code tools is whether they can embody the CI/CD process with proper governance and compliance, ensuring that enterprises separate privileged access to different computing environments. production and non-production.

As more businesses adopt low-code platforms, we’re going to see IT departments gain prominence as they add greater value through custom applications with much faster speed and agility. bigger. This field is growing rapidly and helping fill the huge developing talent gap we face.

In your opinion, what other services could be offered in addition to no-code/low-code to make it a more attractive package for application development?

One of the biggest trends we’re seeing is the need to build serious apps that can quickly scale to hundreds of thousands or even millions of users. The problem for many developers is that this requires developing applications to run in the cloud at Internet scale, using the best practices of modern cloud architectures and technologies, which can be incredibly complex and expensive.


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